“People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost.”
– H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
O hushed October morning mild,
Thy leaves have ripened to the fall;
Tomorrow’s wind, if it be wild,
Should waste them all.
The crows above the forest call;
Tomorrow they may form and go.
O hushed October morning mild,
Begin the hours of this day slow.
Make the day seem to us less brief.
Hearts not averse to being beguiled,
Beguile us in the way you know.
Release one leaf at break of day;
At noon release another leaf;
One from our trees, one far away.
Retard the sun with gentle mist;
Enchant the land with amethyst.
For the grapes’ sake, if they were all,
Whose leaves already are burnt with frost,
Whose clustered fruit must else be lost—
For the grapes’ sake along the wall.
– “October” by Robert Frost
Oh, greenly and fair in the lands of the sun,
The vines of the gourd and the rich melon run,
And the rock and the tree and the cottage enfold,
With broad leaves all greenness and blossoms all gold,
Like that which o’er Nineveh’s prophet once grew,
While he waited to know that his warning was true,
And longed for the storm-cloud, and listened in vain
For the rush of the whirlwind and red fire-rain.
Oh, fruit loved of boyhood! the old days recalling,
When wood-grapes were purpling and brown nuts were falling!
When wild, ugly faces we carved in its skin,
Glaring out through the dark with a candle within!
When we laughed round the corn-heap, with hearts all in tune,
Our chair a broad pumpkin, — our lantern the moon,
Telling tales of the fairy who travelled like steam
In a pumpkin-shell coach, with two rats for her team!
– Excerpt from “The Pumpkin” by John Greenleaf Whittier
O the days gone by! O the days gone by!
The apples in the orchard, and the pathway through the rye;
The chirrup of the robin, and the whistle of the quail
As he piped across the meadows sweet as any nightingale;
When the bloom was on the clover, and the blue was in the sky,
And my happy heart brimmed over in the days gone by.
– Excerpt from “The Days Gone By” by James Whitcomb Riley
The dear old farm has a sacred charm
That extends to farthest bound,
Every rock and tree is dear to me,
And hallowed seems the ground.
Its beautiful stream whose waters gleam
As they dance on to the sea,
Sings sweeter song, as it moves along,
Than other waters to me.
No leaves are so green, as those that screen
The revered old farm-house doors,
From the burning sun of torrid June
When his fiercest rays he pours.
Each grove and field doth a mem’ry yield
Of dear childhood’s blissful hours,
And in accents clear, voices I hear
That have now augmented powers.
My father’s care and my mother’s prayer
Are now ended here on earth,
But as time rolls on, since they have gone,
I shall understand their worth.
There’s a sacred charm in the dear old farm,
For loved ones have trod its soil,
And much I now see, appears to me
As fruit of their faithful toil.
– “Old Farm” by Jared Barhite
I was ready for a new experience.
All the old ones had burned out.
They lay in little ashy heaps along the roadside
And blew in drifts across the fairgrounds and fields.
From a distance some appeared to be smoldering
But when I approached with my hat in my hands
They let out small puffs of smoke and expired.
Through the windows of houses I saw lives lit up
With the otherworldly glow of TV
And these were smoking a little bit too.
I flew to Rome. I flew to Greece.
I sat on a rock in the shade of the Acropolis
And conjured dusky columns in the clouds.
I watched waves lap the crumbling coast.
I heard wind strip the woods.
I saw the last living snow leopard
Pacing in the dirt. Experience taught me
That nothing worth doing is worth doing
For the sake of experience alone.
I bit into an apple that tasted sweetly of time.
The sun came out. It was the old sun
With only a few billion years left to shine.
– Suzanne Buffman, “The New Experience”